Thursday, November 29, 2012

Anger Management

I've had to come to the realization that I'm really, honestly, angry about this wonky knee issue that is keeping me from training for my third half marathon like I really wanted to. It's not annoyed, it's not perturbed, it's not frustrated. It's ANGRY. Yes, all caps ANGRY.

There's nothing that says angry better than a baby! That's my granddaughter, Angelique pitching a fit.
And it has been hard to really make myself realize that. To look past those other surface feelings like frustration and annoyance and realize that it is deeper...because deeper needs to not be ignored. A deeper feeling like anger needs some management because if I let it, anger can cause a whole lot of other problems - both physically and mentally; never mind how it is causing me to treat friends and family because I'm holding it in.

The thing is, if someone had asked me several months ago if I felt like I was in a place where I could deal with an injury in a productive way I would have said yes wholeheartedly. I have dealt with being angry at myself for getting fat and out of shape in the first place, being angry at myself for getting stuck in the same place for years, being angry at the number on the scale, so on and so forth. You get the idea. But apparently I didn't know how devastating it would be to have knee pain that is sticking around and not going away after some extra rest or stretching. It has made me completely reassess who I even think I am.

Because, the thing is, for the past three years I've identified myself as a runner. I'm not the fastest or the farthest runner, but I run. And it's become a huge part of who I am. When my birthday or Christmas rolls around, it is inevitable that the list ends up being 95% running or fitness gear! When my running is going good...all other aspects of life seem to fall in place. It's a driving force for me and all of a sudden the driving force is - POOF - gone. And I feel adrift, lost at sea, unable to find my bearings. And it makes me angry.

So now that I've finally admitted that I'm dealing with some anger issues, I have a couple options. I can continue to be angry and let it fester. I can continue to punish my body for its betrayal by eating crap food and doing lackluster workouts. OR I can stand up and call bulls**t and say I'm better than this! I can give myself the same advice I've given countless running friends - take time to heal, let another activity take center stage and enjoy the change, find something new to energize you, and come back stronger than before; changing your goals is better than throwing them out. Why yes, that IS good advice, self!

As I was in the car driving to work this morning (only 15-20 minutes a day, but I swear it is where I do my best thinking...) I realized that I could be focusing on building better core strength, getting better arm definition, and building the muscles in my legs that I need to better support my knees. I could be focusing on dropping the pounds so I'm a lighter runner, which equates to less impact on my joints. I could be re-focusing on yoga to improve my balance and mental strength. Because I may identify myself as a runner, but I am also so much more than that!

So I actually found myself at a place that I haven't been for several weeks...EXCITED! I began thinking about the different types of exercises I could do, the different plans I could create, the variety of strength training I could revisit. Of course it means that I probably won't get the PR I've been hunting at the half marathon in January...but it might just mean that I'm at a super good place to get it at the next one in May 2013!

The reality is that, as the saying has always gone, when life gives you lemons - make lemonade! And all I can say is

I'll drink to that - Cheers!


  1. Good for you! It's very easy to give others advice and then feel like it doesn't apply to us in the same situation because we're supposed to be perfect or "know better." Build that core, girl!

  2. Thanks for the link to your blog, Kristen!
    I can relate so well to what you write here as I struggle w/my identity as a RIDER...
    (well you'll just have to check out my latest entry), but if I can no longer (happily) participate in the long-distance riding that I love, what kind of fool am I, indeed?
    I keep holding myself back from serious HM training since I want to avoid that crippling foot pain at all costs: